Reflection of “Local Knowledge and digital movie composing in and after-school literacy program”
This article mainly describes the literacy achievement gap between the economic, cultural, and linguistic minority groups and those privileged students whose culture and language are the mainstream in the school curriculum.
However, the previous researches suggested that students who have low achievement in schools can manage very well in their intellectual and literate works outside of schools. Therefore, those minority and low achievement students can perform better if the school provides a “permeable curriculum” with culturally diverse contexts. This paper studied the case of Horatio, a Latino Sophomore, who participate an after-school digital movie composing program called “the Technology and Literacy Project” (TALP) which was coordinated by Michigan State University. Horatio was a fan of hip-hop. He creates a movie with his hip-hop passion and uses a lot of hip-hop literacy. The movie is reflecting his after school knowledge, and successfully, he interplays very well between his after school experience and the content in his movie.
In Horatio’s movie project, he demonstrates not only his engagement to integrate audio and video texts from school knowledge and home literacy, but also proves that his engagement and use of out-of-school literacy can help his performance in-school work.
This study is an empirical support for the permeable literacy curriculum to facilitate engagement and academic achievement for cultural minority students. Horatio’s case tells us that students can perform well if the conventional school curriculum takes into account of their diverse cultural and linguistic background. The school curriculum can build a bridge between students’ literacies in and out of school by reflecting their cultural knowledge in the school standardized assessments for literacy achievement.